Miranda had known that Jason’s best friend
in college was the girl who lived next door
to his parents in the small town where he
had grown up, but the two had never met,
and Miranda had long dismissed the threat.
“Susan will be in New Orleans next week.”
Miranda smiled sweetly, knees growing weak,
and waited for Jason to suggest his friend
stay with them. Unaware the threatening
storm, he opened windows, unlatched doors.
“She wants us to know a man she’s just met,”
Susan eyed the receding hairline he
tried to disguise and thought how funny he
would look with his hair completely gone, weeks
and years of careful combing, eyes meeting
mirror, images bending like old friends.
An invitation was given, the door
flung open with no thought of winter threat.
The couple arrived, and nothing threatening
could be seen in the warm welcome when he
stood with his wife at the wide open door.
But Jason would learn something new that week
about Miranda, her history of friends,
and find that not only had she met
Susan’s Mike before, she vowed not to meet
him again, so serious was his threat
to her sense of who she was. Jason’s friend,
on the other hand, had been used when she
allowed Mike to come with her that week
to enter her innocent friend’s open door.
“Beware of the past!” warned the door
while the whistle of the wind rose to meet
the epiphany latent in that week.
Neither Susan nor Jason sensed the threat
that Mike posed for Miranda, a threat he
intended to fulfill with his former friend.
Mike walked through the open door and the threat
of Miranda’s past met the present. He
became the weak betrayer of friend by friend.